Iran’s FM visits Islamabad amid thaw in ties following airstrikes

Diplomatic sources say killing of 9 Pakistanis in Iran will be most important point of negotiations between two sides

  • Iranian FM to meet PM Kakar during one-day visit. 
  • Pakistan, Iran FMs to hold joint presser after talks. 
  • Minister to talk about security, economic, trade issues.

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian arrived in Pakistan on Sunday where he will meet senior government officials to discuss various matters including security. 

The visit comes days after tensions between the two countries rose after Iran launched an airstrike in Pakistan after which Islamabad hit terrorist hideouts inside the Iranian border. 

Leading a high-ranking delegation, the Iranian foreign minister will talk about security, economic and trade issues during the one-day visit, according to IRNA

The Iranian FM is visiting the country after the official invitation by Pakistan Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani. 

“Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amir Abdollahian has arrived in Islamabad at the invitation of [Pakistan] Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani. He was received at the Nur Khan airbase by the additional foreign secretary (Afghanistan and West Asia),” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

“During the visit, Foreign Minister Abdollahian will hold in-depth talks with Foreign Minister Jilani and call on Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar,” it added. 

According to diplomatic sources, the visit of the Iranian foreign minister is seen as a step towards normalisation of bilateral ties. They added that bringing to justice the killers of nine Pakistanis in Iran will be the most important point of negotiations, The News reported.

The sources also said that Pakistan will reiterate its demand for an immediate need to investigate the incident and hold accountable those involved in the heinous crime. 

Foreign ministers of Pakistan and Iran will also hold a joint press stakeout after talks today.

On January 16, Iran launched attacks in Balochistan claiming to target a militant outfit which left two children dead and injured three girls. 

Pakistan on January 17 withdrew its ambassador from Iran and announced that it would not allow the Iranian envoy visiting his home country at that time to return to protest at a “blatant breach” of its sovereignty after Tehran said it launched missile attacks on militant bases in southwestern Pakistan. 

The next day, on January 18, Pakistan launched strikes on terrorists’ hideouts inside Iran in a retaliatory attack two days after Tehran’s airstrike which left two children dead and injured three girls.

In a statement, the Pakistan Army said the hideouts used by terrorist militant organisations, namely Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), were successfully struck in an intelligence-based operation, code-named — “Marg Bar Sarmachar”.

On January 26, the envoys of Pakistan and Iran resumed duties in Tehran and Islamabad after a brief strain in diplomatic ties following cross-border tensions.

However, just a day after the resumption of diplomatic ties, at least nine Pakistani citizens were killed and three sustained injuries in a firing incident near the Pakistani border in Iran.

As per Iranian media, nine “foreigners” were slain in an armed attack in the country’s southeastern region near the border with Pakistan. The report also stated that “no group has claimed responsibility” for the attack.

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